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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Hay wagons near New Holland, PA
Fully loaded hay wagons near New Holland, PA

"God's Judgment On Sin"

Message summary: The reality of God's judgment is taught all through the Scriptures. We do well to take heed and prepare!

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"Hear, you peoples, all of you, listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple" (Micah 1:2).

This week we are sharing a series of messages on Micah, one of the twelve Minor Prophets which comprise the last twelve books of the Old Testament. These books have been designated "minor" in the sense of their generally being shorter in length. They are not minor league prophets as opposed to major league! They are equally part of "all Scripture" which is inspired by God "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

When I taught from this book on Sunday my focus was on what I observed as major mega themes in the book and how these themes are actually consistent throughout the entire Bible.

Today we will consider a prominent theme in all the Minor Prophets: God's judgment on sin, both individually and corporately. As I introduced this point in the lesson I asked the class to consider three Biblical teachings which are especially hated by the world of which God's judgment of sin is one of them. I asked the class if they could list the other two which they did so. As you read this stop and consider two other Biblical teachings that are especially hated by the world and see the answers below our photos today. *

The book begins, "Hear, you peoples, all of you, listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple" (Micah 1:2). This begins a section regarding the coming judgment on Israel and Judah. Although this word of judgment is especially for Israel and Judah note that the text is universal, "listen, earth and all who live in it".

God's judgment on sin is ridiculed and rejected by the world. The notion of judgment is hated by many since they want to concoct a god who allows them to live freely according to their own desires with no consequences, here or for eternity.

Yet the reality of God's judgment is taught all through the Scriptures. “Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness”  (Psalm 96:13).

Jesus talked a lot about God's judgment, in one place using these descriptive words, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on his glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31,32).

Judgment was part of Paul's preaching, "And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment (Acts 24:25).

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

Finally in the concluding Biblical book we read, “And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water” (Revelation 14:7).

The reality of God's judgment has been and is expressed by the Church whenever the Apostle's Creed is recited, “He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead”.

The reality of God's judgment is taught all through the Scriptures. We do well to take heed and prepare!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You call the entire earth to attention, to listen to the warning of the prophet. No matter the high or lowly position we hold in this life we will not escape God's judgments. If sin is found it will be judged and we will experience the inevitable consequences, so it behooves us to search our hearts. We want to submit our thoughts and attitudes to You, so that You will cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Thank you for the price Jesus paid for our salvation. In His name we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Ninevah"  Click to listen on YouTube  Brooke Ligertwood   A very thoughtful song, just replace your name for Ninevah.

Nineveh, Oh Nineveh
The Lord is turning toward you
Compassion or calamity
Will you heed the warning?

Fall on your knees
Tear down your idols
When you choose surrender
You choose survival

Call on His Name
Turn from your violence
Out of the ashes
He will revive You

Safe Harbor trestle, Lancaster County, PA  (Click to enlarge)
This weekend we will be joining a group of friends from our ABF class riding bikes on the Enola Low Grade trail which now crosses the restored Safe Harbor rail trestle.

Sedum in clay pot
Last week we saw an assortment of these planters at an Amish greenhouse in southern Lancaster County. Brooksyne has been planting a lot of low maintenance, perennial sedum around our place.

Flower Wagon greenhouse near Lititz, Lancaster County, PA (Click to enlarge)
The Flower Wagon greenhouse near Lititz, PA.
 (Click to enlarge)

Hess outhouse
Yesterday afternoon I was riding my bike in our neighborhood when I saw a neighbor had a new decorative feature, an outhouse. Now, due to codes, this would not be a working outhouse but it brings back memories we both had of our grandparents having a working outhouse. How many of you have a memory like that?

* Have you considered the additional two Biblical teachings that are especially hated by the world? In my observation they are:

1) The Biblical doctrine of the exclusivity of Christ as God's only appointed remedy for our sin problem. The world wants there to be many ways God and asserts it's hateful and intolerant to assert Christ is the only way.

2) Especially in focus this month is the true church proclaiming God's standards regarding human marriage and sexuality.

These, along with God's judgment on sin, are three hated doctrines in which God's Word is abundantly clear.

Actually upon further consideration since I shared the lesson on Sunday the world also hates the Biblical and scientific view that life begins at conception.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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